Joe Shanahan founded sister venues Metro and Smart Bar in 1982, inspired by the adventurous punk and no wave he’d seen in the late 70s at New York venues such as the Mudd Club and CBGB. Shanahan was in his 20s at the time, but the Wrigleyville building his venues occupied had been built in […]
Beginning with Napster and continuing through Spotify, the nemeses of independent record labels have been legion over the past few decades. The deaths of brick-and-mortar retail chains, including Tower and Borders, have made releasing new music even more of an uphill climb. Yet Pravda Records has weathered it all and continues to thrive. The Chicago […]
Jill Hopkins is a Chicago broadcaster, DJ, writer, musician, and storyteller. After an eight-year stint at Vocalo Radio, Hopkins kicked off 2022 by joining the Metro family of venues (which also includes Smart Bar and GMan) as their new media and civic events producer. As told to Jamie Ludwig I was always a big radio […]
In summer 1979, Suzanne Shelton hatched a dream to open a punk dance club. She had two priorities: it had to play lots of new wave, and it needed clean bathrooms. Shelton had been DJing at a failing Lincoln Park disco called Hoots, but she spent all her free nights at O’Banion’s, a run-down gay […]
Facs light a beacon with a new album of dark postpunk, Equity Arts hosts a talk about nurturing community cultural spaces, and more.
Staff from 22 Chicago music venues talk about how far they still are from normal—and what it’ll take to keep them around till we all get there.
How three gay bars—La Mere Vipere, O’Banion’s, and Oz—became the cradle of the city’s punk scene
The Co-Prosperity Sphere devotes a concert and exhibit to 90s Chicago no wave, and the CHIRP Record Fair returns for year 17.
On the eve of their latest return home, the Jesus Lizard talk about why they chose Chicago—and how they became its most beautiful noise-rock monsters.
Cook County amends its amusement-tax code to clarify that its officials aren’t in the business of defining “fine art”—but several small venues are still stuck in administrative hearings arguing about exactly that.
Also, the owners of the Double Door are considering a move to Logan Square.
Empty Bottle talent buyer Christen Thomas joins the Metro family, dream-pop group Sexy Fights drop their full-length debut, and more.
David Morales, Louie Vega, Jamie Principle, and more play Smart Bar on Sunday night to celebrate what would have been the house-music legend’s 60th birthday.
Chicago (and people from all over the world) remembered the influential musician, DJ, and producer at Progressive Baptist Church yesterday.
Metro’s green room has dealt with its fair share of rock stars, Kurt and Courtney among them.